About The Instructors

Helene Dujardin:  

Hélène’s photography reveals her passion for natural light, seasonal and fresh ingredients, as well as a love for travel. 

Helene has taught numerous workshops, and understands how to guide students to develop their own style. 

Her goal is not to create cookie-cutter photographers, but to share with students years of experience to support them in becoming the very best they can be.

Students will learn about exposure, utilizing natural light, composition, choosing props, styling, and how to tell a story through photographs. 

Get lots of hands on time as well as plenty of relaxing moments with great food and company

John Ondo:

Serving lunch and dinner, Ondo runs the 80-seat Lana as a benevolent dictator with a very tight crew, his unruly shock of hair making him look like a young Einstein on the line.  

His motivation to become a chef stemmed from wanting to eat better, the way they did whenever the grandparents were around. At the legal working age, he began washing dishes at a local Mexican restaurant, working his way up to bussing tables, and making salsa by the gallon.

Having reached adulthood several Charleston restaurant jobs later, he began doing kitchen work for free at Beaumont’s, a fine-dining French restaurant that is long gone but made its culinary mark on the city under executive chef Roland Gilg, until he was finally hired on to work in the pantry.

Working tables at night, he pursued degrees in Hospitality Management and Culinary Arts at the Culinary Institute of Charleston. “The Italian lifestyle is my personal taste,” says Ondo. “It’s so clean, and so simple. Why ‘junk up’ ingredients with complicated flavors when the essence of a dish is revealed so naturally? You take ripe tomatoes, basil, and olive oil – need I say more?”

His unpretentious presentations of “just good food” got their own showcase when Ondo launched Lana in the unlikely, off-the-beaten path Charleston neighborhood of Cannonborough, in 2005. His personal spin on Mediterranean cuisine has been evolving ever since.

 “I’ve been buying from local farmers from day-one,” he says, explaining that it’s not in response to any trend or fad, but from a deep respect for the integrity of natural ingredients and attention to detail. That culinary philosophy remains the same, but Ondo exercises his creativity by constantly reinventing the beloved Mediterranean classics.